Wednesday, July 26, 2017

63,000 Public Employees in Illinois make more that $100k a year? That Adds up to $10 Billion with a B

Talk about giving themselves a raise.
Whenever we open the books, Illinois is consistently one of the worst offenders. Recently, we found auto pound supervisors in Chicago making $144,453; nurses at state corrections earning up to $254,781; junior college presidents making $465,420; university doctors earning $1.6 million; and 84 small-town “managers” out-earning every U.S. governor.
I would be willing to bet those small-town "managers" don't do half of what a US Governor does. Also I wonder what value-added these college professors and Deans are adding to their schools?
9,567 college and university employees – including the southern Illinois junior college power couple Dale Chapman ($465,420) and Linda Terrill Chapman ($217,290). The pair combined for a $682,000 income at Lewis and Clark Community College. Fady Toufic Charbel ($1.58 million) and Konstantin Slavin ($1.04 million) are million-dollar doctors at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
I wonder what the budget for Lewis and Clark Community College is minus the salaries of these two highly paid persons? Also those two doctors (I guess they are professors at the college) are actually paid more than quite a few college football coaches. I guess the medical department of University of Illinois at Chicago is making big money or something.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Looks like Scaramucci is Going to Double as a Plumber: Finally going to Plug Leaks

It is about time someone starts going through the White House and stop it leaking like a sieve.
“I’m going to fire everybody, that’s how I’m going to do it,” Scaramucci said to reporters outside of the White House on Tuesday. “You’re either going to stop leaking or you’re going to be fired.”
He claimed to have the full authority of the president to clean out the communications shop and put his own stamp on the team. A source close to Scaramucci said that he’s planning to bring in people from the corporate communications world in addition to conservative broadcast stars.
Hopefully those corporate communications people will be more adult about things and have some message discipline. Hopefully they can teach Trump to do the same.

@realDonaldTrump Blocks Chrissy Teigen: It Should have Happened Years Ago

I think someone is going through Trump's social media and purging the list of celebrity followers who get all worked up about his Tweets.
This isn't the first time Teigen has been vocal about her dislike of Trump. At a Super Bowl event in Feb., the star opened up to USA TODAY about her long history with dissing the Donald.
"I've actually been a big Donald Trump hater (for a long time). I've been trolling him for about 5 to 7 years now," she said.
Actually she was such a hater that she had to get Botox to loosen her jaw and get her teeth fixed because she was grinding them so much. Now that is almost pathological hatred of someone. So Trump solved her problem by simply blocking her access to his hated tweets and she can now sleep better at night. He should have done this long ago to simply improve her mental health.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Dems Stop Talking about the Minimum Wage: Most People Want to Make Much More

It seems that the Dems are constantly short-changing America.
The new plan presents Democrats as the party creating jobs; offering job training; keeping healthcare costs low while making college affordable; and pushing higher wages including a hike in the minimum wage. The plan is called: “A Better Deal — Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages.”
This is the “strong, bold, sharp-edged and common sense economic agenda” Schumer promised in a television interview last month.
Okay I am all for job training so I agree with that. Keeping healthcare costs low is what Obamacare was supposed to do and that failed. Hiking minimum wage is not something that will create new jobs for the most part. In fact it will probably cost jobs because it makes robots more and more attractive cost wise. Just ask residents of Seattle how their wage hike is going.

Making college affordable is incredibly dubious because college seems to be more an indoctrination mill than a place to learn skills that turn into higher earning. Too many safe spaces and not enough entrepreneurial skill training and such. Plus, it gets more and more people into crushing debt before they earn dollar one in the working world.

If the Dems talked about apprenticeship programs or creating a 21st century blue-collar workforce then they might win some working-class Trump supporters. Instead the Dems offer the same old crap. Trying to raise the minimum amount instead of pushing people to make the maximum amount. I think they need to can Schumer and get some young turks in there to change things up.

Wake Up @GOP: You will Lose the House if the Election Was Held Today According to Poll

They need to get something done and they have about a year to do it.
The latest polling data shows that in a generic ballot question asking voters which party should run Congress, Democrats are pulling a nine-point lead in an average of polls, put together by Real Clear Politics.
"In my opinion, it's just a question of the sooner they realize it, the faster you get tax reform," said Daniel Clifton, Strategas head of policy research. He said the generic ballot was even on Election Day, and now gives Democrats an advantage, which suggests they could win about 30 seats in the House if the election were held now.
I'm not sure how he gets 30 seats from 9 point advantage but it should still freak out GOP leaders. If the Dems win in 2018 then we will have years of investigations, doomed impeachment votes, and other assorted waste of time things.

Friday, July 21, 2017

What the Dems Need to Win in 2018: #It'stheEconomyStupid

I think the Dems need to read this paragraph if they want to win back the house in 2018.
Stories of Trump misdeeds energize the Democratic base. Plans to expand economic growth from 1.9 percent to 2.5 percent, for instance, apparently don’t. And the media operates on much the same basis, recruiting party officials eager to blab about the latest news-cycle talking points at the expense of covering larger economic trends and policies.
They need to forget about Russia collusion and 2016 election nonsense and focus like a laser on their plan to get GDP from 1.9 to 2.5 percent. What is the Democrat tax plan? What is the Democrat Obamacare fix that will blow away any repeal and replace thing the GOP can muster.

They need to float their plan for free colleges (and how they pay for them) that will get the Bernie-crats back on board. They cannot win with a Russia, Russia, Russia (said in a Jan Brady tone) but they can win if they appeal to middle class voters of all races and orientations. The Dems were once the party of the middle class and not just the elite on the coasts. If they can get back that title then they will win handily in 2018.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Wait, Mueller is Going After Decades old Deals with Russians? Yeah, this is a #WitchHunt

I guess this is why special prosecutors should not be used when there appears to be no crime.
FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said.
That real estate deal was from a property Trump bought in 2004 and then sold in March 2008. I love how this article seems to say Trump sold for nefarious reasons.
Another significant financial transaction involved a Palm Beach, Florida, estate Trump purchased in 2004 for $41 million, after its previous owner lost it in bankruptcy. In March of 2008, after the real-estate bubble had begun losing air, Russian fertilizer magnate Dmitry Rybolovlev bought the property for $95 million.
This was about the time when the government bailed out Bear Stearns. If these idiots remember that the market stabilized during that time. It wasn't until September 15 when the Feds let Lehman fail that tanked the market and froze up credit. 

It looks like a good business move by Trump to buy a property from a bankrupt person and double his money in a few years. It just happened to be a rich Russian guy that did the deal. If the guy was a Saudi or Japanese person then it would be totally overlooked.

This fertilizer magnate (insert crass Colbert joke) just bought at the wrong time and Trump made a two bagger on the deal. So what? Is Trump in Russia's pocket for $54 million delivered a decade ago? That makes no sense at all.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Humans Beating Robots in Stock Picking This Year

Take that Watson and Siri et al.
In the first half of the year, computer-generated strategies, or what they call in the business, systematic strategies, returned 3.17 percent, according to data by Preqin. That compares with the more-traditional discretionary strategy, which returned almost double that, with gains of 5.99 percent. Those results are net of fees.
I will be an interesting battle going forward. Maybe the idea of AI replacing money manager's is getting ahead of itself. I would love to see these numbers in a down market though. I think a robot will do a good job of selling stocks quickly and not have to worry about bonuses and such.

#TMobile Crushes Earnings: Time to Go Long?

They look like they are hitting on all cylinders.
Earnings fly past estimates
EPS: 67 cents per share vs. 38 cents per share expected by a Thomson Reuters consensus estimatesRevenue: $10.21 billion vs. $9.81 billion expected by a Thomson Reuters consensus estimateThat's up compared to earnings of 25 cents per share on revenue of $9.29 billion in the year-ago period.
They went higher on the top and bottom line. Plus it seems that they might be winning the unlimited plan war that is going on now. We are also going into the iPhone 8 buying season in a few months so that might get quite a few people to go back into their wireless stores. The stock went from $68 down to $61 because competition is heating up.

I like the idea that they added 1.3 million more customers though. This article also talks about how they seem to be ramping up in corporate data plans as well. I think companies might want their workers to have unlimited plans and use the wireless access point to connect a laptop or what-have-you. I know that whenever we see a vendor that brings their own internet connection we really know they are on the ball.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Here we go Again: @Chipotle Makes a Number of People Sick Again

You would figure they would spend millions on food safety so this wouldn't happen again.
The chain confirmed Tuesday that several customers who ate at a Chipotle Mexican Grill in Sterling, Virginia, reported symptoms of norovirus after eating at the chain.
So far eight cases between July 14 and July 17 were reported to, a website that allows users to report when they get sick after eating at a restaurant. Business Insider was alerted to the issues at the restaurant by the site, and then published a story. Customers reported symptoms such as vomiting, severe stomach pains, diarrhea, dehydration and, in some cases, hospitalization.
Hmm I have never heard of but I will probably post there if I ever get food poisoned again. The last time was years ago at Jack-in-the-Box when I had a bad Philly Cheese steak. If you haven't heard about the Jack-in-the-Box Philly Cheese Steak then that might have been part of the reason we have never seen it again.

Monday, July 17, 2017

I Agree With This: Why Pay $50 to See the Same Actors do the Same Things

I have to agree with this article 100%.
"Going to the movies is expensive beyond just the price of admission," Selepak told CNBC.
"When you add in the drink and candy, you may end up spending close to fifty dollars on a date to see a movie with the same actors, playing the same parts, and telling the same same jokes in the same tired storyline," he added. "Audiences just don't see the value in it."
This is hitting the nail on the head. Pirates of the Caribbean looked like Johnny Depp fighting against a different ghost this time played by Javier Bardem. The same old thing as we have seen twice already. Why pay $50 to watch something like that?

Transformers has always sucked so I didn't want any part of that. I never got into Planet of the Apes even when Charlton Heston played the lead so I'm not going to see that. I also had no interest in Cars or Despicable Me so that would be a waste of $50. So that leaves superheros and nothing. The cupboard is bare.

Friday, July 14, 2017

I Feel Sorry for @realDonaldTrump : This Le Jules Verne $216 Menu Sounds Awful to me

They would have a lot of food left if I had to eat this stuff.
The night’s meal, which was prepared by legendary chef Alain Ducasse (seen in the photo below), featured a selection of pate; tomato, eggplant, and zucchini; Dover sole, spinach and Hollandaise; filet of beef, brioche with foie, souffle potato with truffle sauce; warm strawberry with yogurt sorbet; and hot chocolate souffle with chocolate ice cream.
First of all pate with eggplant and zucchini just sounds like something you would give to prisoners. I would simply pick off the tomatoes and leave the rest. How pate is made sounds terrible as well.

Dover sole sounds like it might have bones. I like spinach and I like Hollandaise sauce but both together sounds like a not so good combo. I would have filled up on the filet of beef because that sounds good.

Then I would scrape the foie off of the brioche. I would like a souffle potato on its own but with truffle sauce? Sounds like it would be salty. Finally I would double up on the deserts because they sound really good.

Also I wonder if Trump got two scoops of that chocolate ice cream? Or maybe there was an international strong arm with Macron getting two scoops and Trump only getting one? MSM get on that!

I Agree with Alisyn Camerota that #RussiaFatigue is a Thing. I Think it is Simply Getting Old

Yeah I have pretty much tuned out anything relating to Russia for the most part.
CNN’s Alisyn Camerota said on Friday she has fatigue from the news media’s continuing coverage of alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russian election meddling.
“I hear your Russia fatigue and I share it. You know, there are many mornings I come in and pray for other news to eclipse any sort of Russia thread,” the “New Day” anchor told the “Bernie and Sid Show” on 77 WABC. 
What I have been doing is skipping the Jimmy Fallon monologue because endless jokes about Russia has gotten old weeks ago. I no longer even hate-watch Colbert because his anti-Trump Russia talk shtick is just boring already. Hearing endless jokes about Russia and Trump is a waste of time. In fact I stopped watching John Oliver and Real Time with Bill Maher because whenever Russia is mentioned I stop caring and change the channel.

I also used to tune in to CNN when Fox News had a boring guest or whatever. I no longer do that because it is always a talking-head spouting off about "treason" from Russian collusion, someone-or-others Russia ties, or Russian dressing or whatever. CNN used to be a nice point of view change from Fox News now it is the all-Russia-all-the-time network to the tune of 93% saturation.

MSNBC is actually a bit better and I have watched them from time-to-time but I change the channel as soon as Russia is mentioned. I'm just so over this whole story and unless charges are filed against Kushner, Trump Jr., Flynn, whomever I am going to continue to change the channel whenever Russia is mentioned.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Here is How to Insure #NetNeutrality: Google, Amazon, Apple etc. Just Buy Out/Create an ISP

With all this talk of Net Neutrality I think Apple, Google, or whomever. I'm not sure if it will fall under anti-trust problems but the Market Cap of the Big Three are $175 Billion for Verizon, $185 Billion for Comcast, $225 Billion for AT&T. Apple should be able to buy any one of these companies with an all-cash deal with their $256 billion they have on hand.

I'm not sure how much it would cost to create an ISP from scratch but I'm sure the Internet titans can probably swing it. They could make it next generation as well by building cyber-security into the very foundation of the network. They could even create it as a non-profit consortium and maybe swing a tax break as well. I think this would be an interesting use of the billions in cash these Internet Titans have on their balance sheets.

Congressman Brad Sherman Files Articles of Impeachment: Bad Idea for the Dems

Just beat him in 2020 with a good candidate. All of this Russia nonsense distracts them from picking the best person they can that can win that election.
Sherman drew ire from fellow House Democrats last month when he began circulating a draft article of impeachment and suggested he might force a floor vote on it.
Democratic leaders and most rank-and-file members aren’t eager to aggressively push impeachment at this point. One leadership ally, Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), stood up during a Democratic caucus meeting to say Sherman’s effort could hurt the party.
This Sherman guy needs to listen to his leaders and instead of wasting time with this stuff actually beat him through the next election. In fact a potential President Pence would probably be harder to beat than Trump because he isn't so divisive.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Wait Emma Stones Male Co-stars Took a Pay Cut? Why Didn't they Force the Studio to Pay her More Instead?

Now this truly shows Hollywood's hypocritical side.
"In my career so far, I've needed my male co-stars to take a pay cut so that I may have parity with them," Stone said. "And that's something they do for me because they feel it's what's right and what's fair." 
Stone continued, explaining how the cuts increase her quote, or standard rate, going forward and "changes [her] life." 
"That's something that's also not discussed, necessarily -- that our equal pay is going to require people to selflessly say, 'That's what's fair,'" Stone said. "It's not about 'Women are this and men are that.' It is, 'We are all the same, we are all equal, we all deserve the same respect and the same rights.'" 
The thing I don't understand here is why the male costars couldn't have used their clout to have the studio raise her pay instead. I'm pretty sure if the lead said he would walk away from the project if Emma Stone wasn't paid more they would have simply wrote her a bigger check. This would be especially true if he got the Hollywood press involved as well. The studio would have been shamed into paying her more.

Instead the male actors did something that the studio can easily live with. They took less money and the studio simply booked the savings. That seems like such a liberal way of looking at things as well. Instead of using their clout to raise all boats these actors made everyone equally lower. Equality shouldn't be because someone lowers their pay. It should be when everyone is paid at an equally higher level.

De Blasio Says New York can Run Itself Without Him: I Think Voters will Figure that Out Soon

I would be up in arms if our Mayor jetted off to Germany to take part in some lefty protest.
De Blasio took off on a surprise trip to Hamburg Thursday afternoon to attend a leftist protest and other events related to the G20 summit. He left town just hours after skipping an NYPD swearing-in ceremony made somber by the assassination of NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia earlier this week.
Yeah he dodged the ceremony for this slain officer so he can march around and attend a protest. He would have lots of time to do that sort of thing when he leaves office.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

#CNN is Dropping in the Ratings Race: While #MSNBC is going Up in the World

I guess all that Trump hate is leaving CNN and heading to MSNBC.
According to cable ratings from the week of June 26-July 2, CNN’s viewership of its primetime shows was ranked significantly lower than its competitors like Fox News and MSNBC, which place first and second respectively. Clocking in at No. 10 on the list, CNN fell behind HGTV, Nick At Nite, History Channel, and ESPN — the sports network that’s been hemorrhaging viewers for months.
I guess the differnece (as far as I can tell) is MSNBC is "reasoned" Trump hatred while CNN is crazy get-reporters-to-lie style Trump hatred. I wonder if Colbert will see a similar drop once the Russian Collusion thing becomes a footnote?

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

It Seems Trump Attacks Were the Best thing to Happen to @MorningJoe: Ratings At All Time High

It seems having the President jumping on the show is getting people to tune in.
The MSNBC show hosted by Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough received its highest viewership Friday for a discussion of Trump’s critical tweets about their show, The Associated Press reported.
Around 1.66 million people tuned into the morning show following Trump’s Twitter attacks, the news wire highlighted, pointing to Nielsen ratings.
In other words if Trump wants "Low-Rated" to be added to Morning Joe then he needs to not Tweet about it and simply ignore it. Seems pretty basic to me.